Plaintiff is one of 55 people in the U.S. and Canada who have fallen ill from the product
Marler Clark, the nation’s only law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, has filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Colorado on behalf of Carolyn Marie Shirley, a Colorado resident hospitalized with a Salmonella Oranienburg infection linked to the nationwide recall of sprouted chia seed powder and sprouted chia/flax seed powder from Navitas Naturals©, the Superfood Company™. Co-counsel on the case is respected Colorado attorney John Riley.
The CDC has reported that as of June 9, 2014, a total of 21 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Newport (13 persons), Salmonella Hartford (6 persons), or Salmonella Oranienburg (2 persons) have been reported from 12 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (3), Colorado (1), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), New York (4), Ohio (1), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). Two ill persons infected with a strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been identified in two U.S. states. Through product testing and interviews with ill people, these illnesses have been combined with the Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford infections previously identified as part of this investigation.
Carolyn Marie Shirley is one of those sickened with Salmonella Oranienburg by the chia seed powder. A Fort Collins resident, she became ill on or about March 14, 2014 after consuming chia seed powder she purchased at her local Sprouts Farmer’s Market. The chia seed powder she purchased and consumed was manufactured and sold from Navitas Naturals and is subject to the recent recall. Soon after consuming the chia seed powder, Carolyn began suffering from a gastrointestinal illness. Her condition worsened daily until she required hospitalization. While hospitalized, she tested positive for Salmonella Oranienburg. The main symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. As of the time of the filing of her complaint against Navitas Naturals, she was still recovering from her Salmonella infection.
“Many people think that healthy foods are not susceptible to Salmonella outbreaks, but that is just not true,” said Bill Marler, who has been working to help improve food safety standards since representing victims of the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak in the early 1990s. “Healthy foods are just as prone to Salmonella and E. coli as milk and eggs.”
Salmonella is transmitted by food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces of an infected animal or person. Many animals carry Salmonella yet do not get sick. It can also be found in unpasteurized egg and milk products. It is commonly transmitted via the fecal-oral route, from one infected person to another. Symptoms (which develop 6 to 72 hours after infection) may be mild and a person can continue to carry Salmonella for weeks after symptoms have subsided.
The best ways to prevent the spread of this illness are to avoid preparing food for others while ill, thoroughly cooking meat and egg products, not consuming unpasteurized eggs and milk products, and washing hands, especially after using the bathroom and before handling or preparing food.
About Marler Clark:
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s. We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.